Celebrating an historic agreement!

With the conclusion of the Paris Agreement at COP21, Parties to the UNFCCC have agreed to:

  • Limit global average temperature rise to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to meet a 1.5ºC long-term temperature goal; 
  • Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century; and
  • Continue ramping up the ambition of national mitigation commitments over the long-term by submitting nationally determined contributions (NDCs) every 5 years with the provision of finance and support
Track 0 worked with progressive governments, business voices and civil society to include the collective mitigation goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of this century. This goal provides the global pathway to stay below the long-term temperature goal of well below 2ºC and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5ºC.

Track 0 has been working hard to support the inclusion of the goal of net zero emissions by mid-century in the Paris Agreement so we warmly welcome this historic commitment made by all Parties to the UNFCCC.

Highlights of our work  at COP21 include...

  1. Support for the High Ambition Coalition
  2. Supporting youth and civil society demands for #zeroby2050
  3. Spreading the word about 'Who's Getting Ready For Zero'
  4. Supporting the work of the delegation for the Republic of the Marshall Islands
We invite you to read on for further details!

The High Ambition Coalition

Track 0 Founder and CEO Farhana Yamin provided extensive support for the formation of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC). The foundations of this were laid in early 2014 with Farhana working closely with the Marshall Islands delegation, progressive governmenets from developed and eveloping countries, as well as with civil society strategists. This planning paid off as 15 ministers representing over 100 countries decided to "march to the plenary" to help the French Presidency adopt the Paris Agreement.

The HAC brought together both developing and developed countries, cutting across traditional divides to unite Ministers who were personally committed to reaching an ambitious Paris Agreement. Minister Tony de Brum from the Marshall Islands played a key convening and leadership role throughout 2014-2015. Key Ministers and lead negotiators from many countries and negotiating blocs rallied around his call for a HAC, including representatives from Angola, the EU, Germany, Norway, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, US, UK, Japan and Canada.

Farhana worked with the Marshall Islands delegation and Foreign Minister Tony de Brum for two years and was able to ensure insider and outsider dynamics aligined to ensure the success of the HAC in getting all countries to advocate for higher ambition.

Members of the 'High Ambition Coalition' march to the Plenary at COP21

#ZeroBy2050: Youth Mobilization

Through connections and collaborations fostered at ADP sessions held throughout 2015, Track 0’s Isabel Bottoms was able support youth to author a  blog on the long-term goal for the Huffington Post. The blog provided framing and context for the #zeroby2050 actions and media that were executed at COP21.

Track 0 supported youth from the Marshall Islands to take part in civil society activities throughout COP21 as they called for the inclusion of an ambitious long-term goal of 1.5ºC in the Paris Agreement. In the words of AJ Alik from the Marshall Islands: "1.5 to survive; 1.5 to strive".

Zero By 2050: China Accord & Buildings Symposium

Track 0 supported the organisation of a Zero Emissions by 2050 Buildings Symposium on how to decarbonise the built environment. The Symposium was led by Architecture 2030, BIM World, The Prince of Wales Corporate Group, International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, batiactu and Medi@Construct.

Panelists considered the following questions:
  • Why Paris Must Signal Decarbonisation of the Global Economy & Why the Built Environment?
  • Achieving Zero Emissions by 2050: pathways, programs, and tools
Track 0 CEO Farhana Yamin provided the audience with an update on the Paris Agreement including the historic inclusion of the long-term collective goal to achieve net-zero emissions in the second half of the century, which gives a clear decarbonisation signal to business and investors in the building sector. She also highlighted the practical importance of the Buildings Symposium:

“There is a huge way to go, but there are already people out there working on envisioning what a Zero by 2050 world looks like.” 

The Symposium was part of the French Presidency’s successful facilitation of non-state actors to build support for a net-zero emissions goal both ahead of and during COP21.

You can read more about the China Accord and the Buildings Symposium in the Architecture2030 newsletter, here:



Spreading the Word: 'Who's Getting Ready For Zero?'

To ensure that the Paris Agreement can be implemented quickly, Track 0 commssioned research on who is getting ready for zero emissions. Track 0 joined forces with INFORSE, the Centre for Alternative Technology, Nordic Folkecentre and negaWatt to host 2 side events, one inside COP21 and one outside in the Climate Generations Area. With panelists from across the modeling and scenario-building spectrum including, audiences were given an insight into the work already being done to model zero emissions pathways and how these models can actually be implemented by local and national governments around the world.

Guest panelists included Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre who set the scene by outlining the science of the global carbon budget, representatives of Track 0 and CAT who presented the findings of the report ‘Who’s Getting Ready for Zero?’, and Dr Stephen Bygrave of Australia's Beyond Zero Emissions who are supporting the implementation of a total decarbonisation plan for the Australian city of Byron Shire - the world's first city to commit to total decarbonisation within the space of a decade.

Track 0 also spent time at COP21 attending side events, learning about scenario building and policy making all over the world, and promoting ‘Who’s Getting Ready for Zero?’ and the Zero Practitioners Network that the report proposes.


Support for the Republic of the Marshall Islands' delegation to COP21

Apart from supporting Minister Tony de Brum and other senior negotiators, Track 0 assisted the Republic of the Marhsall Islands delegation throughout COP21 with logistics, team co-ordination, media activities and advocacy for the inclusion of a 1.5ºC long-term temperature goal in the Paris Agreement. The Marshall Islands pavilion became the hub of diplomatic efforts to forge the High Ambition Coalition. It also provided a safe space for a new generation of Marshall Islands youth and climate leaders to immerse themselves in the experience of COP21.

Some highlights of the delegation include:
  • Organising a presidential dinner with President Christopher Loeak from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the full Marshall Islands team
  • Facilitating a meeting with Betsy Taylor to produce a short film about the impacts of climate change on the Marshall Islands', which features young members of the Marshallese delegation;
  • Helping to co-ordinate the delivery of an AVAAZ petition with 3.6 million signatures calling for a transition to 100% clean energy to President Christopher Loeak of the Republic of the Marshall Islands;
  • Providing support and co-ordination for a 'Behind the Scenes at COP21' video featuring the model and activist Cameron Russell, which was posted online by Vogue Magazine.
Betsy Taylor speaking with young members of the Marshallese delegation, together with Ana Kantzelis and Isabel Bottoms from Track 0
Cameron Russell for Vogue, going behind the scenes at COP21.
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